By Anamika Chatterjee
Last week, Saudi Arabia announced the launch of tourist visas and eased the norms for women travellers for abayas. While opening its doors to the world is a part of the larger plan to diversify the economy, and could be a game-changer, the no-abaya rule is just as much of a cultural shift.
Continue reading Experiencing Saudi Arabia without an abaya
By Tirtho Banerjee
Pacing through the buzzing bazaar — the hub of Pondicherry (Puducherry) — my mind was running riot with apprehensions. My eyes were desperately seeking to sight him in the milling crowd. It was over an hour now and my imagination had started feeding on the negatives. I thought, perhaps, he had gone a little too far into the sea and failed to make it back to the shore. Or maybe, he was hit by a speeding vehicle and could be languishing in a hospital.
Continue reading How I nearly lost my dad during a getaway
By David Light
Similar to Discmans (shouldn’t that be ‘Discmen’?), disposable cameras and Jason Donovan’s TV career, the package holiday looked dead set on being confined to the annals of history. With the introduction of low-cost airlines’ predilection for Web bookings and ‘click here for the best deal’ online hotel portals, come the millennium — millions of you became your own travel agent tapping away at the computer as fervently as the person in the high street office used to, minus the invariably red blazer and polka-dot tie or scarf. The trend has only increased over the last couple of decades with services such as Airbnb and Skyscanner further enabling travellers to tailor bespoke elements of their trips and phone apps only making the process easier.
Continue reading The grand return of the holiday package deal
By Keith Pereña
After a recent trip, a colleague came up and asked me how I was able to have photos of myself taken. I responded in a tone that would be best described as enthusiasm laced with a little bit of “everybody does this, right?” I simply told him that I asked passers-by to snap my photo and devote at least five minutes of their time to some stranger from another land. The reply I got was of shock. “But what if they ran off with your phone?”
Continue reading Can you trust strangers to snap your photo? Maybe
Beautiful handcrafted pottery made by Mama Aicha rarely sells in Morocco anymore, but thanks to social media her ancient techniques are drawing students from around the world to the foothills of the Rif mountains.
Continue reading How social media rescued Morocco’s last women potters
By David Light
That cross is an important artifact. It belongs in a museum.”
The curtain had just risen on the Steven Spielberg epic Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade followed by those couple of lines uttered by a young Indie (River Phoenix) and I immediately fell hook, line and sinker for history. While many would have taken away an admiration for trilby hats or Sean Connery’s Scottish lilt, I, aged four and far too young to be watching the picture, firmly set my sights on personally running an eye over as many ancient destinations and relics as humanly possible.
Continue reading Indiana Jones and the Last Charade: Play archeologist, travel endlessly
By Disha Dadlani
There’s not much that’s good about the summer. Neither the beaches and the ice creams, nor the pastels and the refreshing beverages. These are all just quick fixes to, well, ‘beating the heat’. But, let’s face it, there’s no beating the heat when it comes to the UAE’s hot weather.
Continue reading It’s summer, so why don’t you just, well, chill out?